Most Important Handhold on Our Boat!

Without a doubt, the most important, handholds on our boat are the stainless steel grab bars on the outside of the dodger!  It’s been windy and bouncy here in the harbor for the past four days and watching folks on boats around us getting out & in their cockpits without the benefit of the grab bars is a bit scarey.  The boat lurches one way unexpectedly and people are left grabbing for anything that is hopefully substantial enough to hold their weight!

We actually kept the stainless grab bars from our original dodger and cockpit enclosure and had them incorporated into our new dodger and enclosure.  They unbolt from the inside of the stainless dodger frame so they’re easily removable when we take the canvas off when we leave the boat for the summer.

These strategically placed grab bars allow us to move safely and easily between the cockpit and side decks.  They also allow me a convenient grab hold when climbing out of the dinghy aboard.  We use these grab bars all the time, so if you’re debating whether to spend the money to add stainless steel grab bars to the outside of your dodger, we highly recommend the addition – you will never regret it!

Anyone have recommendations on dodger grab bars that aren’t custom fabricated?  Ours were made when the original dodger stainless was added, but any canvas shop should be able to make some to your dodger dimensions.   Others input is encouraged, please leave a comment & share!  THANKS!   Jan


  1. Martin Henry says:

    Indeed, we shaved a couple of bucks when we had ours made and I kick myself every time I step around!

  2. Diane Dashevsky says:


  3. T. Cockrell says: has them prefabricated. Probably other places as well. Made by Seadog.

  4. We added four handholds to the outside of our enclosure when it was remade. Best investment ever.

  5. We installed 4 of these on Magnolia and hands down the best investment we ever made!

  6. Alan Uren says:

    Had these put on last spring when we had all the canvas redone. Absolutely love them.
    Having said that, our most important handholds are the two overhead ones going in and out of the main hatch and ladder. Saved our necks many many many times.

  7. I added them myself. I found that there are several to chose from at WM, and you can find them online too. Some of the used boat parts places have them too. Just measure what size you need and get the right one. I used them to bolt the dodger ridged, instead of using those straps that always flap around, make noise, get in the way, etc. Now it won’t go anywhere, so, I followed suit and got some more for the outside of the bimini, and wow, what a difference getting around the outside of the cockpit during docking manuvers. It might have cost a little more with all the SS fittings and such, but yea, I can’t recommend them enough for everyone! Besides those hand holds, putting a second one at the companionway was a great idea on my part too.
    s/v Renasci

  8. Hi, there’s an article on how to DIY this in This Old Boat here:
    I’ll be attempting this for myself when I change my dodger from aluminium to stainless.

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